ORLEANS- Bottom of the last inning. Two outs. Bases loaded. Tie game. And the batter comes through with a game winning hit, much to the delight of the hometown crowd and teammates on the bench.
Virtually every kid has dreamed of this scenario playing whiffle ball in their backyard at some point or another, and on Monday night at Lake Region the Rangerâ€™s Haley Kennedy was livinâ€™ the dream. Kennedyâ€™s high chop infield hit scored Chelsea Poginy from third base, giving the Rangers a thrilling 7-6 come from behind victory over the Lyndon Aâ€™s.
It was a well-played battle throughout between a pair of evenly matched squads, with the lead changing hands twice over the final two innings of play.
LR pitcher Michelle Thibeault and Lyndon lefty Paige Carr were locked into a pitcherâ€™s duel early. LR scratched out two runs in the first and three more in the fourth for a 5-1 lead, despite being held to just 3 hits through the first five innings of play. Meanwhile, Thibeault had held the Aâ€™s offense to just two base knocks.
But the Aâ€™s bats found their groove in the 6th, as Emily Dotyâ€™s booming triple highlighted a 5-run inning to give the Green & Gold and 6-5 advantage.
Carr held the Rangers in check in the bottom of the 6th to maintain the Aâ€™s slim lead heading into the 7th and final inning of play.
The Aâ€™s loaded the bases with one out in the top of the 7th, and it looked like Carr would have some insurance runs to work with. But the next batter hit a line drive to second base that LRâ€™s Kennedy snagged and alertly tossed to Hannah Leroux at first to double off the runner, squelching a possible Lyndon rally and keeping the deficit at one run heading into the bottom of the 7th.
Leroux walked and Chelsea Poginy was plunked with a pitch to put runners on to lead off the Ranger half of the 7th. After an out advanced the runners, Leroux scampered home with the tying run on a wild pitch. Bianca Mackay followed with a single to put runners on the corners. Carr notched her sixth strikeout of the game for the second out before walking Chelsea Trucott to load the bases and set the table for Kennedyâ€™s game winning heroics.
â€śWhat a great game to watch, win or lose,â€ť said Ranger coach Matt Tinker. â€śLyndonâ€™s corner infielders both had great games. (Aâ€™s coach) Chris and his coaches always have their girls ready to play, and they play the game right way. We always look forward to playing them because we know theyâ€™ll be a test, and itâ€™ll be a good game.â€ť
The Rangers, now 6-0, travel to St. J. for a Wednesday tilt, before coming home to close out the week with games on Thursday and Friday.